In a post reported from Autoblog, Mazda will be withdrawing the CX-7 from the US market after the 2012 model year. The post mentioned nothing of the Canadian market, where Mazda is a more popular brand than here in the States, so at the time of writing the fate of the CX-7 in Canada is unknown. All Mazda indicated was the CX-7 would continue on in other markets, just not in the US. Here in the States, the new CX-5 will be taking over in the 7’s place.
The CX-7 is no stranger here in The Garage, and two editors have experienced the CX-7 in both flavors. As East Coast Editor, I reviewed the base CX-7 i, powered by a 2.5L four shared with the Mazda3 and Mazda6. A good car with decent fuel economy, our CX-7 was great around town, but its low power and higher weight made the car a chore when it came to merging on highway ramps and passing situations. Up North, Founding Editor Gary Grant sampled a CX-7 with the turbocharged 2.3L four. With 244hp versus 161hp, the acceleration was leagues better, but the turbo CX-7’s fuel economy was appalling. With either engine, the CX-7 was a good crossover beset with compromises no matter which engine you chose.
In addition to replacing the CX-7 here in the US, the CX-5 will also be taking the place of the Tribute. This dated brand-engineered Ford Escape won’t be missed by anyone. Strangely, as the Escape continues to sell strongly even in its current dated design, the Tribute never did much for Mazda. It’s a tough sell to impart your company’s ‘Zoom Zoom’ mentality on a car your company did not design. Even though Mazda still shows the Tribute on its website, looking around it appears Mazda is content to let the leftover 2011’s roll off the lot, and forget about the Tribute altogether.
It should be interesting to see if Mazda’s cleaning house will improve their situation here in the US. As it was, the CX-7 had little chance to hit a chord with mainstream buyers. With the CX-5 Mazda is getting a second chance, while the three-row, V-6 powered CX-9 continues on.